Friday, 20 May 2016

Mixed bag - but worth it

When you think about earth quakes you might think of San Francisco or Asia, not Shetland. In the last month or so three earth quakes have been recorded around Shetland, all at sea and nothing more that 1.8 scale. However some have hit Shetland, back in 2009 a 3.3 magnitude hit Lerwick and further north with people indicating that they heard a bang or shaking around the house.

Most earthquakes in Scotland go unnoticed about 300 occur around Britain each year and most under 2.0 magnitude.

That's nothing compared with the 6,200 earthquakes that have occurred in Iceland, since the last earthquake in 2015. Increase in activity could see the largest volcano in Iceland erupt which would be bad news for any air travellers.

The huge Baroarbunga volcano may be gearing up for an eruption although there is nothing for definite as yet, but keep an eye on this. Shetland was covered in volcanic ash when the last large Icelandic volcano erupted.

The other Sunday we managed to see a Faroes Gospel Choir which had not been to Shetland for 4 years. They arrived in a very interesting way, by ship - the Juvel 11, built in 1974, now a Faroes missionary vessel which was originally a Danish fishery protection vessel. This ship spends time up in Greenland visiting remote churches to bring the Christian message.

                                                                                                         Juvel 11
                                                                                            Scalloway Castle

Da Voar Redd Up has taken place again , Shetland people are so proud of where they live. You wouldn't get this anywhere else in the UK, this is where the communities turn out to collect rubbish by the bag full. Beaches and dykes are cleaned up by adults and children alike, most of this is windblown and washed up on our beaches.

                                                                                Scalloway Castle - whats in a name

Last year  4572 participants turned out and collected 58 tons of bruck (rubbish) 1,700 tons since it started 29 years ago in 1988. Well done to all !

Its amazing to find out that 640,000 tons of fishing gear is discarded each year, this kills 136, 000 whales and seals each year (Info Shetland Times)

                                                                               Large Oil ship in Scalloway

A number of large oil ships have been gathering in Shetland waters, especially of Gulberwick where 3 vessels are carrying pieces of oil rig for the Clare Oil field. They will be heading to a site around 40 miles west of Eshaness. This will provide 64 million barrels of oil over the next 40 years

The Shetland Adult Education photography classes have been going very well this year and I was asked to put on another course in Scalloway in late June - July, this is now full. I will be starting to run courses again from September, starting with an intermediate course, drop me a e-mail if you are interested in joining.

                                The current ` Know your own camera' course folk

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Scalloway on the sunny side

Working on the west side in Scalloway gives me opportunity to explore the area.  Scalloway was the ancient capital of Shetland up to 1708, when it was transferred to Lerwick. It has a small population of around 800, smaller than Sandwick

For anyone visiting it has much to offer, including a great cafĂ© the `Cornerstone' which can be found near the castle. If you go in you should see a painting of one of my photos of Scalloway castle taken during Storm Gertrude (see header)

The slipway is in constant use with many boats coming in for a service or repair, always an interesting area.

Similar to Lerwick, Scalloway has many interesting lanes to explore, and many colourful houses (above) which reminds me of Tobermory in Mull

Secured just in-case the wind blows

                                                             Interesting stone plaque depicting the theory of tidal motion

Norway House

During World War 2 Scalloway was the  base for the Shetland bus, the Norwegian resistance movement. They used small fishing boats to bring refugees from Norway to Shetland then returned with weapons and agents. All the activity took place in the middle of winter in the worst of the winter weather. Norway house was used as barracks during the campaign

                                                                                              Still used today

                                                                                   Info about the Shetland Bus

Another interesting feature of the area is the number of very mature trees, quiet a rarity in Shetland.

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